Best Video Games to Play with Friends

Jillian Geib, Opinion Editor


When it comes to videogames, there are endless debates over which ones are truly the best. And from graphics, to play style, to console type, everyone has a reason for their preferences. That being said, there is one game that is perhaps more celebrated than any other in history: Minecraft.  


Since its initial release in 2009, Minecraft has been widely popular among video game fans of all ages; the open-world format and wide variation of gameplay makes for endless hours of entertainment. Though nowadays, with so many people stuck at home and unable to spend time with friends, the game’s creative freedom is not the only thing keeping players glued to their computer (or phone) screens.

Whether it be public servers or small privately-owned worlds, Minecraft has become a prime social outlet to connect with others while still adhering to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines. Of course, most friend groups who took up the game during the pandemic are sticking to its typical activities — building houses, harvesting goods, fighting mobs, etc. However, some users have gone as far as replacing large, important events, made impossible by the virus, with Minecraft versions. The University of California Berkeley, for one, held its 2020 commencement ceremony on a block-constructed replica of their campus.

Without a doubt, this past year has been both incredibly difficult and terribly strange. Who would have ever guessed that Minecraft would become one of the few places where people could find a sense of joy and normalcy?  

Among US

After living aboard a spaceship for quite some time, you and your crew are finally ready to return to Earth. But, in order to ensure a successful journey home, a few basic tasks and repairs must first be completed. This seems simple enough, except for one slight issue: one of your crew members has been replaced by a shape-shifting alien, dead-set on executing your entire party. Now, it is up to you and your group mates to identify this “imposter” and vote them off the ship. Just make sure you survive long enough to do so.

Unlike Minecraft, Among Us had gained only a moderate level of popularity prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In May 2019, about six months into its existence, the game sat at around 1 million downloads. By September 2020, however, 60 million people were playing on a daily basis. But how did a videogame with such a small customer base suddenly gain so much traction? 

This past summer, a barrage of prominent internet personalities, including PewDiePie and Ninja, began playing Among Us for their audiences. Almost immediately, people became entranced by this unfamiliar game and its exciting multiplayer capabilities. And, as an added bonus, it required no special consoles or costly download fees. Mobile players can download the app for free on their personal devices, and those who prefer PC gaming can hop on the Among Us trend for a single five dollar payment.       

Animal Crossing: New Horizons 

Being one of the most highly-regarded video game companies of all time, Nintendo has produced some of the world’s favorite console franchises. Super Mario, Pokemon and Kirby are usually some of the first examples that come to mind, but since the first game was introduced in 2001, Animal Crossing has gained a pretty notable fan base of its own. 

The most recent edition of the five-game series, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, was launched in March of 2020, right as many countries had started to shut down. In this version, a player-customized avatar moves to an uninhabited island alongside other villagers with the aim of creating a prosperous, sufficient community for themselves. Such a goal is achieved by gathering materials, crafting tools, constructing houses and designing furniture to decorate the island’s inside and outside locations. 

To call Animal Crossing: New Horizons a success would be a glaring understatement. Currently, it is the 15th best-selling video game of all time and easily the most sought-after game of the entire Animal Crossing saga. As mentioned before, the game’s release date is a major contributor to its popularity. The increase in free time that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic left  people desperately hunting for new forms of entertainment. Additionally, the ability to play with friends online only added to the appeal.

Although each Nintendo Switch console can only load one island, New Horizons allows up to eight online players to exist on said island at a given time. When hanging out with friends is not possible in the real world, there is nothing better than picking up a controller and creating a place of your own!